Snow on Half Dome after the first winter storm of 2018

Hello from Yosemite, it’s time to welcome in winter!

Outdoor Adventures

My first real winter adventuring was in Yosemite National Park back what seems like a lifetime ago (photos tell me it was more like 6 years) and the park remains one of my favorite sights under a blanket of fresh snow.

Sierra mountains covered in snow after the Thanksgiving storm

Sadly, I’ve only had a few chances to play here on a proper snow day and it certainly seems like they’re notably less common these days. Naturally, when the forecast called for the first storm of the season over the Thanksgiving Holiday week, I was packed and looking for camping spots just as fast as my schedule allowed !

Clouds over Yosemite's Tunnel View, November 2018

While snow did not hit the valley this weekend, the storm transformed the mountain scenery overnight turning higher elevation views into that of a winter wonderland. Down the in the valley, it was rain and mud, not my favorites nor the best for camping but as the storm broke and left clouds swirling around El Capitan and the valley, the views were hard to beat.

Yosemite falls with snow in early winter

Though the roads to Glacier Point closed up for the incoming snow, the park service left Four Mile Trail open giving me the chance to finally stand at Glacier Point on a snowy day without the long winter road-slog. The trail its self has a good couple inches past the gate, but is still day-hikable and has one hell of a view if you’re willing to put the work in (just come ready for cold, winter conditions please!)

El Capitan covered in fog in the morning

With any luck, plenty more snow will head to Yosemite in the next few weeks. That certainly looks to be the case for other mountains around the Sierras, the PNW, Rockies and many other amazing spots in the next few weeks… wahoo. Officially time to trade in the light fall layers and break out the winter gear for some new and stunning adventures!

P.S:┬áIf you’re new to winter hikes / adventures, a little google time goes a long way before hitting the trail. What starts out nice can become awfully serious if you get stuck out in the cold so pack in more layers, food, backup gear and remember, sunset is early!